Knitting the Light Fantastic

Knitting, spinning, dyeing and other crafty goodness

Knitting, raw fleeces, and a bit of soap

Posted by notthatkat on May 23, 2007

Wherein I promised actual knitting content, and I deliver.  I started making the Gimlet socks for a friend.  I’ve gotten this far so far:

Gimlet Toe

Yes, those are DPN’s you see.  Yes I am only working on one at a time, for now.  This will change.  Stay tuned.

I haven’t gotten very far on those because I have been working diligently on my sister’s second curtain.  I added 32 rows yesterday evening.  I have about 60 rows of lace left, plus a good chunk of stockinette at the top, but I am starting to see the light at the end of the tunnel.  It doesn’t look different enough to warrant a photo.

I bought a few fleeces (maybe 4 with an extra one thrown in: long story) this spring and have been working on getting them washed.  I prefer to wash raw fiber in small batches.  I am nearing the end of the second one, a quite nice merino, and try to do a bit here and there when I can.  This was the scene a bit earlier; they’ve moved on to the rinse stage now:

Wet Merino

Most of this afternoon (my mid-week day off) was spent making soap with a friend who has wanted me to teach her since she found out I knew how.  I was a bad blogger, and didn’t get many in-progress pictures.  I was so busy teaching Courtney the process I forgot to take photos.  Next time, I’ll try to do better and might post a tutorial if there’s interest.

I did get this one of Courtney measuring out the oils:

Courtney, junior chemist

We made two batches using the same basic recipe.  I took lead on the first one, explaining as I went, then had Courtney do most of the measuring and mixing for the second one.  The first was cold processed and is currently incubating wrapped in a blanket:

Cold process soap incubating

The second was hot processed in the crock pot and is cooling in its mold:

Hot process soap cooling

Once cool, it will all be the opaque off white that the lighter areas are now.  I took scrapings from the pot and what was left on the spoon and made a wee little soap ball.  This is what the final soap will look like, except we will cut it into rectangular bars.

Soap Ball

Tomorrow we unmold and cut.  Courtney is feeling pretty confident in her ability to make soap now.  She has a lot to learn if she ever wants to go beyond a written recipe, but she made a good start today.

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